TPREIA letter to TREC Commissioners and IAC Committee.

I’m not with TPREIA on this. The TREC checkboxes have become an old habit. It seems that organizations, in general, struggle with and are opposed to any changes in things that they have become comfortable with.

My take on the losing some of the checkboxes:
• Having inspected and not inspected checkboxes is redundant, they are mutually exclusive, so only one is needed.
• Defect checkbox probably not necessary as the comments will speak for themselves. Now you won’t have to decide if a comment you make constitutes a TREC “defect” or not. It’s rare and unusual inspection that any of the major sections doesn’t have some defect anyway. Yes it will make it easier for agents to downplay a comment - we just have to make sure that the verbiage we use clearly indicates if we think something constitutes a defect or not.

I can see where the checkboxes help agents. They can ignore whole sections of the inspector’s report if the defect box is not checked. I don’t see them as being of any particular benefit to the client.

I won’t miss having the two extra checkboxes. The more crap they remove from the standard, the more latitude they leave me to do reporting as I think it should be.

The question is “why is the check box” being considered for removal?

The TPREIA letter has conflicts and causes increased reporting requirements.

More later.

The requirement to classify conditions will place a burden on the inspector to determine if the code item is a defect or improvement. If TREC requires it then they will be required to answer the thousands of requests for interpretation to follow. When TREC creates a Rule they are required to define it. How else would they apply their penalty matrix? How would an inspector know if they were in compliance with TREC? It is an impossible recommendation.

If TREC identifies items as upgrades can you imagine the discrepancies? Its . . . well like its now only they call em defects. :roll:

Example: 1990 house with out tamper covers. Upgrade or defect? 2012 house? Ditto on every specific code based requirement in the SoP.

Rethink it TPREIA. Simplifying TREC Rules is the only way to go. The Rules are the problem.

Ahh time to kill.

TREC web site states (verbiage reduced for this post):

**Q: ** the inspector reported things as “safety hazards” or “code violations”. Can TREC give me information about what codes the inspector is referring to? **A: ** There are many different codes that can figure into the construction of a house, depending on when it was built and local amendments. TREC does not require inspectors to inspect to any of the various building codes and (TREC) cannot assist you in determining what code provisions were applied in a particular situation. Instead, TREC has established Standards of Practice for inspectors to follow. However, an inspector is free to inspect to a higher standard (such as to various codes or based on recognized safety hazards), as long as they do so competently. If you have questions about your inspection report, you should ask your inspector for the basis of his statement. You may also wish to contact your local code enforcement authority for more information about relevant codes.

So how does TREC determine GFCI now? They call anything that does not meet the most current NEC (they copy requirements almost verbatim in SOP) deficient.

Example: Home built in 1960. No GFCI. Improvement or repair? Home built in 2012. Same questions. TREC will have to interpret code if they require classification of findings.

If an inspector calls out the 2012 home as an improvement are they in violation of TREC Rules? Reverse that for 1960.

Question the inspector on the basis of his statement? Does that mean TREC will not over rule? If they can over rule then they need to provide the basis or surrender the authority.

Telling them to ask the code department is accurate but the agents do not want to do the work involved with that.

More to come.

TREC FAQ

**Q: ** The Standards of Practice say inspectors shall report deficiencies in electronic sensors in garage doors, but the general limitations section states that inspectors are not required to inspect photoelectric sensors. Do inspectors have to inspect electronic sensors in garage doors? **A: ** Yes. The specific requirement to report deficient electronic sensors in garage doors takes precedence over the general limitation against inspecting photoelectric sensors.

Cahill: Is a system lacking a sensor on a pre 1990 opener deficient or is the recomendation for one an improvement? Is it a safety recomendation? Garage doors may be the number one child crushing cause of death. Why don’t the TREC Standards require specific comment on this like arc fault, GFCI and smoke alarms and proposed tamper resistant receptacles? Is a sensor a lesser safety concern according to TREC? Does this mean the inspector has no obligation to make any comment at all?

The TREC Commissioner adopted motion in 2007 stated “the Standards must be written with code, safety and specificity”.

TREC FAQ

**Q: ** Do the Standards of Practice require inspectors to report as deficient a gas log fireplace with a damper that has not been blocked open? If so, what is the minimum distance the damper should be open? **A: ** The lack of a damper clamp is required to be reported as a deficiency when a gas appliance or artificial gas logs (but not merely a log lighter pipe) is present. The Standards of Practice do not establish a minimum distance that the clamp should hold the damper open.

The SoP do not specifically mention a damper clamp but it is required by this interpretation. The point is how many hundreds of other things not specified in the SoP required? Are they defects or improvements? Are they code based like this one?

**Q: ** Do the Standards of Practice require inspectors to determine the headroom clearance on stairs or to report inadequate clearance as a deficiency? **A: ** Inspectors are not required to measure the headroom clearance of every flight of stairs. The Standards of Practice do not establish a minimum headroom clearance height. Whether to report inadequate headroom clearance as a deficiency is up to the reasonable judgment of the inspector.

Cahill: This is a wishy washy answer. Not required to measure headroom on every stairs (but maybe some)? Is this an improvement or repair? Keep in mind changing the condition is wholly unrealistic.

Enough examples for now. The current SoP are classified as requirements instead of guidelines. The FAQ and TREC history prove they are a 150 mph **minimum **speed limit.

Does the inspector committee state for the record they find every conceivable defect on all inspections? If they answer no they may violate Rule. If they say yes they lie (perhaps unknowingly) and violate Ethics Rule. So the question that begs "would the court rule the TREC Standards are not capable of being reasonably complied with therefore invalid? It would make an interesting lawsuit.

Rethink the points TPREIA.

We agree on check boxes. Removing only them seems like an intent to hide negatives from the consumer.

Look at my post times. It took me 20 minutes to come up with all this crap. Imagine the mayhem if they pass rules like this.

I disagree, unless the inspector cannot write clearly…

An inspectors explanation of electricity.

Excerpted

[FONT=Georgia]The problem in understanding electricity is that you can’t see it and that you’ve been told it’s hard to understand. Electricity is made up of volts and Amps. There are many analogies as to what a volt is and what an Amp is. All these analogies are simplistic but they serve to give us an understanding of the things that we can’t see and that we have been told are too hard for us to understand. As with any analogy, the information may not be completely technically correct. There is, for example, the analogy of ping pong balls in the water hose. The number of balls in the hose is representative of volts. The force pushing the ping pong balls through the hose is representative of Amps. Volts have no ability to move on their own. Amps cause volts to move. The harder it is to move the volts (the more the resistance), the more Amps it takes to move the volts. As the volts are shoved across a conductor, some of the volts are burned just as a tire on an automobile is worn down by its travels across roadways. Different amounts of volts are consumed due to the length of the conductor, the size of the conductor, the condition of the conductor and the character of any splices, etc. So, if we connect a garden hose from the breaker panel to the range and we shove ping pong balls into the hose, we know that some of the ping pong balls will be destroyed by the process of the balls being moved through the hose. Let’s take another garden hose and run it from the breaker panel to the oven. Then let’s shove ping pong balls into the hose to the oven.
[/FONT]

[FONT=Georgia]What a marvelous explanation for the consumer . . . . … . ahh but then it was written for inspectors.[/FONT] :neutral:

I’m venturing to guess that most real world inspectors worth their salt are too busy providing inspections to clients to fully understand the nuances of the changes proposed by those in committee rooms seeking to justify their existence.

It might also be said that most real world inspectors worth their salt are too busy providing inspections to clients to read and post replies on this forum.

I know salty inspectors who work full schedules, follow the industry and post on this forum. I know some who do not follow the industry or read this forum.

I am may not agree with the inspector committee all the time but they are all pretty salty and turn down work to contribute time to the industry. I would say the average meeting cost each inspector committee member $1500. They are not reimbursed. I would guesstimate Brian MUprhy has put about $35,000 of his time into the Standards rewrite while others were busy providing inspections and ignoring requests for public comment. Brian is pretty salty. He would kick the majority of inspector a s s on a followup.

If you want to see Brian get barbequed by a real estate agent majority Commissioner board watch this video.

You will see TREC:
1- attack 50 page reports
2 - set Brian up with a loaded question. “Do you support 50 page reports”? Brian’s reply should have been “you make the rules; do you support 50 page reports”?
4 - The Commissioner Chairperson misstates the strategic plan and by doing so lets out an intent to require classification of comments.
3 - Brian asks for guidance. Nothing but crickets and end of topic.

Brian is not justifying his existence in the grilling. He was taking an a s s kicking so we could be busy providing inspections to our clients.

Not slamming anyone in particular. I’m just stuck with an ideology that prefers that the free market dictate behaviors of inspectors rather than beauraucrats. I especially do not delight in the fact that they feel like they have to impose new regulations upon us every few years or so.

We agree. Its an interesting history.

A handful of inspectors caused registration in 1984. They went to TREC with the idea. Bottom line is they wanted people to do it their way.

  1. From there it bloomed to regulation
  2. Then TREC took over the Standards thus killing trade group contributions.
  3. It turned into a government jobs program with Realtors thinking they could control inspections.
  4. A handful of people were involved start to present and the result is evident.
  5. And so we do what we must do.

I understand your comment better. Everything is cool except the weather. Off to an afternoon job; hope ac works.

Texas Inspectors, just as Inspectors across the world, will never agree on every topic. As an Association, TPREIA represent the voices of our members - the majority voice decides the position of TPREIA. We try to put all of the facts of an issue out to the members as well as all Inspectors and ask for thoughts and opinions. Communication, both pros and cons will help all of us understand the issues better and allow Inspectors to discuss and join together with one voice.

The issue with the check box for deficient items, I personally feel that this box helps the Consumer and Agents recognize sections of the report that need attention. Of course, Inspectors can always write any comments in the report comment section. Question is, will they identify deficient items that the consumer can recognize? The section of the report to be checked as deficiency has been utilized for many years now, consumers and Agents recognize this section. To remove this box from the report form doesn’t simplify the report, it will cause many phone calls from the consumer and Agents for clarification of the report. This will change the way that Inspectors write their reports for many reasons. TPREIA’s position is that we do not support the elimination of the deficient check box.

The suggestion of using an upgrade or code change area is to clarify some issues called as deficiencies now on the report but that are upgrades.
Reports are written by the Inspectors for their clients and this will never change IMO. We all have to write the reports based on our experience, training, certifications and business knowledge.

TPREIA has asked ALL Texas Inspectors to speak up and let your voices be heard. If we say nothing, do nothing and sit back; then we will have to live with the actions of others that will speak out and it may not be what we really feel is in the best interest of the Clients or the Inspector.

Let us all learn from one another. This message board is a good source of exchange only when we utilize it. So keep the comments coming…we really want to hear from you.

Thanks Paul.
Having a “code change area” in the TREC form is in my opinion putting the HI at risk as we are not code enforcers.
Will we have to write up the code reference?
Under which code would we write the deficiency or upgrade? The 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012?

Yikes! That well beyond merely being a bad analogy, it is completely WRONG! The descriptions of Voltage and Amperage are both wrong. Volts don’t move! Voltage is analogous to pressure. That is why we use the term EMF, Electromotive FORCE, for Voltage. Amps don’t “cause Volts to move”. Voltage causes electrons to move. Amperage is the measurement of the flow of electrons, or to be more precise the passing of an electric charge past a given point, over time (one Ampere is equal to one Coulomb of charge passing a given point in one second).

He started with a good opening with the comments about analogies not being perfect but there is a difference between not being perfect and being PERFECTLY FLAWED!

The argument is presenting some aspects of code for safety reasons. GFCI, arc fault, tamper resistant etc. Why not create

  1. An optional standard that compares all home to certain code based items. The optional Standard could be added onto without objection or concern.
  2. Create a TREC approved form that any consumer might use to inspect their own home for these items. If they do not understand the check list then they can hire an inspector.

The entire optional standard could be labeled “improvement or repair depending on state and local requirements”.

This would not however prevent an inspector from continuing to add it to the basic product. For example, I recommend GFCI and don’t care about code at all. Call it deficient or improvement, it does not matter. There are some code based items I back off on and some I do not. For example, I do not care if you have a water saver shower head or low flush toilet. Sure I am for saving water but not in the confines of a home inspection.

This idea is certainly flawed somewhere but its on the table.